This game doesn't sit right with me... I'm not a real big fan of this game in the first place. The first time I played this game was on an NES 250-in-one multicart, and something about it just rubbed me the wrong way. The 2600 version, which is the only version of Pooyan that was released for the home console market outside of Japan by the way, is far inferior to the Famicom port which is far inferior to the arcade, a winning combination if I've ever seen one. Graphics?
Ugly... It seems that Konami had a habit for ugly graphics on the 2600, because this game is rather hideous. Everything is merely an indication of what the arcade laid out, a shadow of a shadow, by just glimpsing at it it looks like Pooyan, but if a second grader drew it with crayon. All the colors are washed out and lack the pop that even the Famicom managed to pull off. The wolves are hilarious looking, the pig you control looks like a cow, and the thing raising and lowering you? It scares me... On a deep and profound level that thing just freaks me out. Everything is just a solid color and looks strangely mangled, especially the balloon wolves, where do their mouths go? I know the 2600 requires some abstract thinking when it comes to interpreting the graphics, but no matter what you tell me those are not trees, those are cliffs, and nothing you will say can convince me otherwise.
Sounds? There are very few of them in this game, you shoot, they shoot, they die, you die, opening tune... I won't criticize them too much since they aren't making my ears bleed. I think there need to be more explosions though, but hey that's just me.
Gameplay... OH THE GAMEPLAY!!! This is the worst part of this game by far. Unlike in the Famicon and arcade versions, which have smooth vertical movement, in the 2600 version you cannot move fluidly, you're stuck to five predetermined locations up and down the cliff face, you can not move between them, you snap to them automatically when you move the joystick up or down. I can't name a single shoot 'em up top down or sidescrolling where your movement is grid based. This renders the game nearly impossible to play, since when you miss a wolf, and you will do so quite often, you have to waste time waiting for them to reach your next designated shooting area, thankfully they also move on this grid. You might think that the grid system wouldn't be too bad if you moved quickly, well.... You move slower than a snake in a freezer, you are SLOW! This game seems hell bent on not wanting you to play it, this game hates you and it always wins. I hate to say this again but... This is the only console version of Pooyan released outside of Japan, and when I look at this travesty of a port I think I can see why.
Don't buy this game, in fact I would recommend against buying any games put out by Konami on the 2600, I may have recommended Strategy X for the challenge, but that's for a niche audience of sado-masochists. This game is not worth your time, it is not worth your money, and it staggers me that this game used to be worth something. I designate this game to the Collector's Zone, and I sincerely hope it never leaves.